Europe can't turn its back on financially-troubled Turkey - Lithuanian president

Dalia Grybauskaitė

Europe cannot turn its back on financially-troubled Turkey in the face of geopolitical security and economic challenges, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Tuesday as she met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Vilnius.

Grybauskaitė underlined the need for seeking solutions to help the country, which makes a strategic contribution to curbing terrorism and migration threats faced by Europe, her office said in a press release after the meeting.

Turkey is a reliable NATO member that plays a key role in ensuring the collective defense of the entire Alliance. Therefore, Grybauskaitė underscored the importance of the United States and Turkey finding ways of resolving tensions between the two allies, according to the press release.

A trade standoff between Turkey and the US sent the lira down by almost 20 percent this month. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the plunge in the currency's value was a political plot against Ankara.

Observers warn that rows with the EU and the US are pushing Turkey toward Russia.

Lithuania says that it supports a dialog between the EU and Turkey. Grybauskaite's office cited an EU-Turkey agreement on migration, which came into force two years ago, as a successful example of such a partnership.

"This is the most effective instrument for stemming the influx of Syrian refugees into Europe," the office said, adding that this "has reduced the number of illegal arrivals by 95 percent."

Source: BNS
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